Thursday, October 04, 2007

How much longer will this be news?

I was stunned to come back from Blackpool last night and on catching up on the weeks local news discover that the 'row' between the Hoteliers and the Council has been in the local newspaper for three out of three editions of the Herald Express.

Is this really such a big story?

The Torbay Hospitality Association consists of about 120 local hotel owners and is representing their interests, encouraging hotel visitors and promoting it's members establishments.

The Torbay development Agency is a council owned public-private partnership set up under the Lib Dems to encourage and promote enterprise and business across the bay, including Tourism which is easily the biggest part of the local economy.

The TDA have to promote more than just our hotels, they have to represent the interests of leisure operators, retailers and other businesses and they answer to our councillors who represent the interests of residents.

It is hardly surprising therefore that the Hoteliers lobby put pressure on the TDA to do more for them and it is a perfectly normal part of the daily cut and thrust of behind the scenes negotiation that goes on all the time.

Even the fact that the THA is led by Gordon Oliver, a Conservative councillor, who is arguing with Nick Bye, a Conservative Mayor, is not really an issue of any note. Many councillors have interests outside the council chamber and sometimes those interests clash with the direction the council want to take.

The idea that everyone must always agree about everything is a relatively recent phenomenon that is -frankly- often very unhelpful. When is a passionate and active debate not a 'war of words'?

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